Undergoing a cardiology exam can be stressful. Any health concerns are, but heart health is especially so. Your heart health can affect the rest of your well-being. So it’s important to keep an eye on it.
Still, if you’ve never had a cardiologist exam before, it can be scary. Doing some research beforehand can help alleviate some of that anxiety and make for a more comfortable experience.
What does a cardiologist do? What’s going to happen at your cardiology exam? Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of the process, so you can know what’s going to happen beforehand.
What Happens at a Cardiology Exam?
A cardiology exam can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, depending on age or preexisting conditions, they can be part of a routine examination. Other times, a screening may be done based on the symptoms you’re experiencing. The main goal is to catch any underlying diseases early, so they can be treated before they progress.
The most common reason is to check for coronary artery disease, which is the most common heart disease in the world. However, heart screening can also be used to check for things such as high cholesterol, blood pressure, or other conditions.
The Different Types of Cardiology Exams
There are several types of heart exams. The most common form is an EKG, or electrocardiogram. These tests are used to measure electrical activity in the heart and are often used to detect irregular heart rate or rhythm.
Stress tests are similar procedures, where you will be asked to perform activities while hooked up to an EKG. Usually, you will be asked to walk on a treadmill or some other kind of exercise device. The purpose of these tests is to measure the behavior of your heart at elevated levels.
There are plenty of other kinds of tests. Heart ultrasounds can be performed on their own or as part of another test. These are used to create images of your heart during the test, so its behavior can be more accurately assessed.
There are also several other types of imaging tests, including coronary CT tests, myocardial imaging, and coronary catheter tests. These are used to produce different kinds of images within the blood vessels or the heart itself, in order to get a better look.
These kinds of deeper tests are usually ordered as follow-ups to an earlier test, and usually as a result of concerns that may have been found.
Your doctor will order a specific test for you based on the type and extent of your symptoms. When you’re getting a cardiology exam, always work with your doctor to find the best local cardiologist to do the job.
Take Care of Your Heart Health
It’s important to take care of your heart health. It can have huge effects on your quality of life and impact other aspects of your health.
Hopefully, knowing a little more about the process can help alleviate some of the anxiety surrounding cardiac exams. If you have any other topics you’re interested in, be sure to check out the rest of our articles for more helpful information.